Adedokun Adebola Feyikemi,Chief Museum Education Officer, National Museum, Osogbo.

Folklore is oral history that is preserved by the people of the same culture, consisting of traditions belonging to a specific culture.It is inform of belief form from legend,myths, songs, values,tales, taboos, stories, history etc. It is passed down from generation to generation and is kept by the people in the culture.Folklore make used of the things found around the environment it serves that allow people give meaning to their lives and surroundings. In recent years much has been made by folklorists and others around the globe of the need to preserve our intangible as well as our tangible cultural heritage. In 1989, the UNESCO General Conference adopted the recommendations on the safeguarding of traditional culture and folklore.

Museum are considered critical to cultural tourism and cultural economic development, this adoption can be sustained by giving instruction to children through folklore. Children can be used as a mechanism of identification, marketing and connecting local cultural assets to global audiences through their experiences gained in the museum using folklore. Folklore is an active agent in these realm of activities not only by identifying assets, but also by trying to triage and impact knowledge in the ways that are positive for transmission from generation to generation.

Understand oral traditions and beliefs handed down from generation to generation without the use of writing are certain traits that are signature of folklore. Animals stories and stories of divination are characteristics of folklore. Practices for curing, education on survival, morality, identity, community empowerment and preservation of cultural values are all common elements of folklore. It is a notable form of entertainment as traits are known to manipulate emotion through performance aspects that are richly based in narration and audience participation.

The role of playing and exploring with the objects and ideas as part of learning process is as important but often overlooked feature of learning. The playful atmosphere in the use of folklore in the museum helps many children develop skills and exploring their environment. Play is necessary in the development of affective, cognitive and psychomotor domains,it leads to the development of skills in observation, experimentation and the testing of ideas. It provides an opportunity for children to independently discover order of nature.

BENEFITS. _ Folklore embody the hopes and inspirations of the children and serves as a means of transmission and preservation of cultural values. _ It helps to show how society view itself and also convey their notions of justice, rights and social obligations of its citizens. Laziness,greed and selfishness are therefore portrayed as negatively as possible with the offending characters always suffering for their stupid and unwise behaviours. This can help inculcate fear to the children. _ Folklore can be used to transmit information without personalized issues or pinpointing certain individuals for rebuke. _ The use of animals as human characters is done to highlight attitudes and behaviours of people in a way which pokes fun at their awkward actions in real life. In addition, animal imaginary makes it possible for children to easily understand the relevance of the story being told due to the simplified character of the animal.

Folklore is told in order to educate Children into cultural values of the society as well as give them motivation and a sense of well-being. In stories where small animals seem to beat the odds and overcome bigger ones both physically and mentally, the children learn the important lesson that anybody is able to achieve great things in the society no matter how small, different or inexperienced they may be. Also, the use of various vocal tones, miming and bodily gestures are done to emphasize important themes and ideas which the children need to remember long after the story have been told.

Folklore can be used to highlight democratic process and the importance of unity and agreement in the society. Example are folklore that portray animals gathering and discussing issues that affect them as a group.

 

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